September 1–December 8, 2013
The exhibition maps the travels and influence on foreign artists of one of France’s most prolific and innovative painters, the leader of the realist movement, Gustave Courbet. It expands upon an exhibition shown at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels from May to August 2013 titled Gustave Courbet and Belgium, which examined the role Belgium played in Courbet’s development and the warm response the bold social commentary in his work received from Belgian artists and collectors. Courbet: Mapping Realism adds additional paintings by Courbet in American collections to tell the story of his reception on this side of the Atlantic. A selection of outstanding paintings by Courbet’s American contemporaries, including Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, Martin Johnson Heade, Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, Eastman Johnson, and John La Farge, reveals the role he played in shaping American painting.
A volume of essays by American and Belgian scholars (Claude Cernuschi, Jeffery Howe, Jean-Philippe Huys, Dominique Marechal, and Katherine Nahum) edited by Howe accompanies the exhibition.
Organized by the McMullen Museum and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Courbet: Mapping Realism has been curated by Jeffery Howe and Dominique Marechal. The exhibition has been underwritten by Boston College, the Patrons of the McMullen Museum, the Newton College Class of 1968, and the Newton College Class of 1973.